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iFixit has just released its iPhone 15 Pro Max teardown video review on YouTube, giving us a close look at the insides of the said model. Unfortunately, alongside other models in the series, the new Pro Max received a provisional 4/10 repairability score. iFixit said the model is lucky to have it, given its real-world repair-unfriendly nature.
The how-to and repair website published the new review on YouTube, detailing the similarities between some of the components of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 14 models. As the team noted, Apple has introduced some favorable features in the new series, which make some of their repair easier.
First, it confirmed that Apple now accepts microphone repairs for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. By making the microphone a separate component, the requirement to replace the entire mid-frame is now removed. And with this change, the repair for standard iPhone 15 models is expected to lower.
Second, it noted that the charge port doesn’t require pairing. The pairing system still applies to the other components of the iPhone 15, but seeing it not applied in the port is something to celebrate.
Lastly, iFixit praised Apple’s new work on the chassis of the iPhone 15 series, making the models easier to open both from the back and front. It also stressed that the back glass of the units is now removable, making the repair easier.
However, these good points all end here, as a lot of issues in iPhone repairability are still present in the iPhone 15 series. To start, iFixit noted that despite allowing the new iPhones to open from the front and back, exploring the unit internals is not easy due to Apple’s arrangement in this series.
iFixit shared in the review: “This inverted chassis arrangement makes critical repairs like battery swaps slightly riskier than on the 14, because you’re removing the expensive, fragile display rather than an inert sheet of glass. In order to get to the battery and other components you have to heat and pry open the screen, which is slightly riskier. If you accidentally tear a cable, it’s better to tear the back cover cable than it is to ruin the display.”
On the other hand, the team again called out Apple for its pairing system, which unfortunately also covers the iPhone 15 series. iFixit demonstrated its inconvenience in the new review, wherein swapping the front camera components between two of the 15 Pro Max units resulted in failure.
“We’ve discovered that the rear lidar assembly, which will be critical for augmented reality functionality and creating content for the Vision Pro, is completely locked to the iPhone 15 Pro Max,” iFixit reported. “We purchased two iPhone 15 Pro Max units, and swapped the lidar modules between the two. The camera app initially loaded and then crashed. We were able to repeatedly reproduce this behavior.”
In the end, just like what the team gave to the iPhone 14 series, the new lineup received a poor provisional 4/10 score. iFixit stressed that the serialization affected the figure mainly. It added that while it could be considered “more repairable” within Apple’s walled garden, its real-world repairability disappoints. Fortunately, component pairing is limited to software, giving Apple the chance to consider removing it in the future. Knowing Apple and its vision for its business, however, that is highly unlikely to happen.